Clinical relevance of circulating tumor DNA in early breast cancer
The Research Group for Oncology and Medical Physics-Micrometastasis group, Stavanger University Hospital.
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a new and promising biomarker for prognosis and disease monitoring in several cancers. ctDNA originates from dying cells in the primary tumor or potential metastases. It can be detected by the presence of tumor-specific mutations, both point mutations and insertions/deletions.
In this study, we will detect and characterize ctDNA by next generation DNA sequencing. We will use a breast cancer-specific gene panel for this purpose and increase the sensitivity for detection of rare alleles by molecular barcoding. See figure.
Plasma from the patients in the PBCB study will be examined by this method, both preoperative samples and follow-up samples will be analyzed. The level of ctDNA and/or specific mutations will be compared to radiological and biochemical monitoring of the disease. By this approach we will investigate whether ctDNA measurements has a clinical relevance and potentially identify mutations related to treatment resistance in patients receiving chemotherapy.